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Knee Sprain

A knee sprain is a common injury caused by a ligament in the knee being stretched or torn. They normally occur in activities that involve weight bearing while bending or twisting and are common in contact sports.

The knee is strengthened by four main ligaments – bands of flexible soft tissue – that connect the joint to the femur and tibia, providing stability to the leg.

Knee sprain causes

A knee sprain often results from direct impact on the knee or pressure resulting from a sudden stop or change of direction. The forces cause the ligament fibres to fray or tear and, in some cases, separate from the bone.

Knee sprain symptoms

The levels of pain depend on the severity of the injury – graded 1 to 4 – and worst can be accompanied by audible popping noises and buckling sensations. All knee sprains result in some form of swelling and limited mobility. The injury site will become inflamed causing tenderness and compromising daily activities from climbing stairs to standing. It may feel like the joint is unstable.

Knee sprain diagnosis

A specialist will need to rule out other potential causes with a physical examination, an evaluation of the patient’s medical history and an understanding of how the injury occurred. X-rays and MRI scans are helpful tools to determine what has been damaged in the knee, which is a complex structure.

Knee sprain treatment

Non-surgical treatments, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to reduce the initial swelling and physical exercise regimes, can reduce the symptoms and strengthen the knee joint.

Surgery may be needed for full ligament tears and a minimally invasive arthroscopy can swiftly assess the extent of the injury and repair or remove damaged tissue.

Contact us

To ask a question about knee sprain or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 1pm. Our knee specialists team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment. 

If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP. If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

Call us on 020 7432 8328 or email us at londonkneespecialists@hje.org.uk

Knee Clinic

The Knee Unit at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital comprises a dedicated team specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of knee pain and stiffness caused by knee conditions or injuries.

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7432 8328.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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